Unexpected membership in an exclusive club leads to big adventures.
Louisa Sparks is a young, white English orphan on her way to attend Madame de Treville’s School for Girls in Paris, following in the tradition of her late mother. While on the train, she discovers a gold mechanism in her coat pocket that transports her from 2012 back to 1717 Paris. Louisa then discovers an invitation to the Dining and Social Club for Time Travellers, also in her coat pocket. Soon she is inducted into this very exclusive club, which includes members whose original times range from the ninth through 23rd centuries. (Most of the time travelers are European and white, though a 13th-century Iraqi and various nonhumans add diversity of a sort.) The evil Belthazzar has kidnapped one of the club’s members in hopes of locating a time-travel machine called the Parallax, which will allow him to control all time travel and, inevitably, rule the world. It is up to this quirky group of time travelers, with Louisa’s help, to stop Belthazzar. Though Kishimoto delivers an unusual spin on time travel, Louisa is so quickly absorbed into the time-traveler world that lack of character development leaves readers uninterested in the outcome. Too many characters are introduced too fast, making the story hard to follow at times.
A bit cumbersome and poorly paced; here’s hoping for better from Volume 2. (Fantasy. 10-14)